U.S. District Court Declines to Put Green Party Slate on Illinois Ballot, But Suggests that Two Ballot Access Laws May be Unconstitutional

On August 21, U.S. District Court Judge John J. Tharp, Jr., declined to put the Green Party statewide nominees on the Illinois ballot. The case is Summers v Smart, 1:14cv-5398, northern district. However, the 20-page opinion suggests that the full-slate requirement is likely unconstitutional, and also suggests that the notarization requirement may be unconstitutional. But because the party complied with the full-slate requirement, and also did notarize all the petition sheets it submitted, the opinion says enjoining either or both of those two laws would not make any difference this year. The party did not submit as many as 25,000 valid signatures in any event.

The Opinion says, “This is a situation of the plaintiffs’ own making. Rather than bring a timely lawsuit to enjoin the provisions that the Plaintiffs allege to be unconstitutional in themselves and collectively – the complete slate requirement, the notarization requirement, and the binder-check rules – the plaintiffs waited to sue until the only possible preliminary injunctive remedy was to place them on the ballot notwithstanding the allegedly overburdensome ballot access requirements.” UPDATE: here is a news story.


U.S. District Court Declines to Put Green Party Slate on Illinois Ballot, But Suggests that Two Ballot Access Laws May be Unconstitutional — No Comments

  1. Well I saw that coming, unfortunately. But the fact that the judge did say that the full slate and notarization requirements may be unconstitutional does give some hope for 2016, if Rich and co. keep up the pressure in the next two years. Perhaps the Libertarian and Constitution parties will join forces with us in this legal matter, particularly the Libertarian Party given what the Republicans have been doing to them.
    In the mean time, we’ve still got Paula and Wade in the 5th and 12th Congressional districts, and the other candidates can still switch to write-ins.

  2. The Libertarian Party of Illinois filed a similar lawsuit 3 years ago to change these ballot access rules, which is still making its way through the courts (now on its third judge). We extended offers to both the Green Party and Constitution Party to join us, and were turned down by both. We would have loved to have join forces. There is no reason for us to be fighting these battles alone.

  3. We ought to be asking what democracy would look like, if it existed here in the US. The 1st Amendment gives us a starting point: Democracy protects freedom of association, especially political association.

    So, where does this decision leave us? Here in Illinois we are forced to associate with one of the two established political parties, whether or not we are in sympathy with either. State law has dissolved the Illinois Green Party, and we, its members have no voice in that decision.

    This doesn’t sound much like freedom of political association.

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